Huskers Open Season With Sweep of Utah State
LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Athletics) - The Nebraska volleyball team opened the season with a 25-20, 25-17, 25-17 sweep of Utah State in front of 8,436 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night, the first day of the Ameritas Players Challenge.
The fifth-ranked Huskers hit .286 and held Utah State to .061, thanks in part to 11 blocks. Bekka Allick had seven blocks to go with five kills, and Harper Murray had five blocks with a team-high nine kills, as the Huskers won their fifth straight season opener.
Merritt Beason also had nine kills, while Lindsay Krause added six kills and a pair of service aces. Bergen Reilly had 26 assists, seven digs and four kills in her first collegiate match. Lexi Rodriguez had a team-high nine digs and is now just three away from 1,000 for her career. Maggie Mendelson added three kills and three blocks.
Shelby Capllonch led the Aggies with nine kills.
Set 1: Nebraska rallied from down 4-2 to take a 10-6 lead. Krause had a kill and served a 4-0 run that included an ace. Allick was in on back-to-back blocks for the Big Red. Kills by Murray and Beason helped the Huskers to a 13-9 lead, and a block by Murray and Mendelson made it 14-9. Kills by Krause and Allick pushed the Husker lead to 18-12. An ace by Allick kept NU up by six, 22-16. The Huskers finished the 25-20 win with a kill by Murray.
Set 2: Nebraska led 6-3 before Utah State went on a 4-0 run to go up 7-6. A pair of blocks by Allick, one with Reilly and one solo, helped NU go back in front, 9-7. Another kill by Murray and a pair of Utah State errors pushed the Husker lead to 13-9. Reilly put down a kill and three Utah State errors put the Huskers up 19-12. Reilly’s fourth kill and two kills and a solo block by Murray gave NU the 25-17 win.
Set 3: Kills by Allick, Murray and Beason put Nebraska on top, 11-8, and Mendelson added one to make it 13-9 and force a Utah State timeout. The Huskers went up 19-13, but Utah State scored three in a row to cut the lead in half. A pair of kills by Murray moved NU back up by four, 21-17, and Beason and Mendelson finished with kills down the stretch for a 25-17 victory.
Up Next: The Huskers continue the Ameritas Players Challenge on Saturday at 5 p.m. against Lipscomb. SMU will play Utah State at 2 p.m. Doors to the Devaney Center will open at 1 p.m. SMU swept Lipscomb in the first match on Friday, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21.
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